Wickersham joins regional economic development officials for training

HCED Executive Director Mark Wickersham was one of 17 economic development officials in Northeast Indiana who recently completed The Sandler Trusted Advisor program.

Sponsored by NIPSCO and the Cole Foundation, this custom-designed program for economic development officials in the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is designed to maximize business development efforts.

The 5-session program covered more than 22 hours of topics such as trust-building, understanding communication styles, qualifying well-chosen opportunities, disqualifying non-strategic interests and gaining agreement within strategic relationships. Sessions were led by sales trainer Tim Roberts using the resources of his organization, Trustpointe.

"This was an exceptional training opportunity for our region. We learned how making small adjustments to communication and listening behaviors can greatly impact our overall effectiveness in business development," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Participants worked on strategies for uncovering long-term business opportunities while resisting the urge to court short-term unqualified leads. The sessions encouraged new thinking toward negotiation, targeted questioning techniques and highlighted the importance of decision making in the sales process.

Other economic development officials who participated in the training included:

•    Vince Buchanan, Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana

•    Dale Buuck, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

•    Tim Ehlerding, Wells County Economic Development

•    Linda Fortner, Indiana Economic Development Corporation

•    Keith Gillenwater, LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

•    David Koenig, Steuben County Economic Development Corporation

•    Bill Konyha, Economic Development Group of Wabash County

•    Larry Macklin, Adams County Economic Development Corporation

•    Ken McCrory, DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership, Inc.

•    Scott Naltner, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

•    John Sampson, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

•    Rick Sherck, Noble County Economic Development Corporation

•    Katy Silliman, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

•    Brook Steed, Indiana Economic Development Corporation

•    Ashley Steenman, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

•    Alan Tio, Whitley County Economic Development Corporation